The moment I found out that I had limited myself to a definition of ‘peace’ in my life that involved running away, escape, and complete removal from my daily environment, was the moment I was asked to really have a look at it. I would like to experience more peace in my daily life, but I have never really taken a step in awareness to actually create it.
After involving myself in a process of self-change about 10 years ago, I have taken many steps in awareness to create things in my life, resulting in a life and experience that is tremendously different from the path I was on back then. In this blog, I want to share an example of how this kind of life creation works for me, how it starts so small and so simply, and how it can seem so insignificant at first, but with a little attention and nourishment, can grow into a real and substantiated way of living.
In this case I was having a look at the word ‘peace’. The action of looking is always the first step for me in the journey of my own self-creation. I immediately saw that I had been living the word ‘peace’ as something that can be attained mostly when I am away, ideally on vacation at a tropical destination with a beach, the ocean, and being faaaar away from work, bills, stress, home and all of daily life.
The first thing I did when I decided to look at this word was to apply a little honesty: this way of living ‘peace’ is unrealistic because I can’t afford to do it regularly, and I simply can’t spend all my time avoiding my real-life reality situation. Also, this would mean that to experience ‘peace’ I would need to spend money, “extra” money I don’t always have, and when I do, I usually end up stressing about it later.
And now a little more self-honestly: ‘Peace’ defined in this way is more like escape. It is a temporary hiding from myself. Even when I do go on vacation I still feel anxieties come up, I still worry, I still judge myself and, for example, my body… I still face concerns and uncertainties the same as I do when I am home. And when I get back, it usually takes less then a week for me to move back into the things I was trying to escape in the first place, because the reality is that I cannot escape from myself, and I cannot escape my own mind.
Is it enjoyable to escape on vacation? Yes! Without a doubt! But is it real? No, unfortunately it is not real peace.
So how do I define real peace? I define it as something substantial that I can integrate into my life at any time, no matter where I am. I define it as peace in mind, being and body, where I understand and am confident about who and what I am in that moment, even if I am not perfect and even if I have made mistakes, I can be at peace with myself and where I’m at.
Now I ask questions: How do I live this? What is the first baby step I can take where I plant seeds of peace within me that I can nourish and grow to develop over time? This is what I did:
I took a look at these questions while I was at work. I brought them up within myself I moments that were the opposite of peaceful – emotional moments of stress, rush, anxiety, pressure and distress- and I had a look at how to create peace in those moments. What I found was if I take a moment for myself to bring the emotion up (instead of pushing it down and moving on with my day), that I would feel it all throughout my body. Yes, it would be uncomfortable to immerse myself into emotional experiences of stress, worry, anxiety, pressure and distress, but I saw I could stabilize myself within that discomfort, and have a look around at what was creating it, and then ask my questions about how I can create peace in these moments.
I saw that in order to create peace, once I identified what was creating the inner turmoil, I would have a look at myself, as a person, and see all the steps I had already taken to support myself within and through turmoil in the past. This helps me to see that I am not so lost and alone as I sometimes feel in moments. I have really stepped up over the past ten years to be there for me, and how rarely do I give myself credit for this process I have walked to support myself? Well, now is the perfect moment to do so. This helps to set the platform for peace, as I really feel that I am here for myself no matter what, and I can depend on me.
The next thing I did was to look at what steps can I take to resolve the current situation. What am I resisting, avoiding or hesitating on? Do I need to make a decision, do I need to take a step? Do I need to re-align my focus? Do I need to take 10 minutes to just go breathe? Maybe I need to do some self-forgiveness, or maybe I need to write something down instead of relying on myself to remember it. All of these have come up for me as solutions at different times, in moments of inner emotional turmoil.
The action of taking the experience into me entirely, looking at it, and scripting a solution for myself, I saw creates a little peace within me. Once I have taken steps to actually walk the solution, I feel even more at peace. At the end of the day, when I take a look back at how I lived that day, at how I stood up with, as and for myself, how I walked a different path than I would have had I continued on with or suppressed the inner turmoil, I can breathe and live that peace that ‘I got this’. This is just my start, it will be a process because some days I do not live my best potential, and so I understand from here it will take time. I am at peace with that.
I can see that over the past ten years I have proven to myself that I am here for me. I have little by little created a self that can take this process of redefining and living words for example, and implement it over time and watch it actually take root and grow in my life. I can see that I can create myself, develop and expand myself in ways that are beneficial to me. I can see that the tools and principles of self-forgiveness and self-honesty along with self-change I use have had a huge impact in my life because when I first heard of them, I could see the common sense and self-empowerment, but when I actually asserted myself to apply the information, I saw real change.
Anyone can do this, but it is not a quick fix. It is a way of life where the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years put in to it – time that would be passing anyways – are all moments of opportunity to turn self around and direct self into a way that is really how life should be lived. Where I (self) decide who and how I am in any given moment. I choose the direction, I am at the reigns and steer my ship through the stress, the anxiety, the breakdowns and the build ups, the highs and the lows. I parent myself. I soothe myself. I give myself peace that is real. I find stability.